Training for Complete Growth

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Training to become a better and stronger athlete by pushing your body to higher levels requires both mental and physical growth. Personal trainers help athletes learn how to focus and achieve their training goals.

What is encompassed in training?

Chris Tuttle: A lot of people discuss how there’s two pieces of training, you have physical and mental training. Obviously, the physical part, lifting weights, plyos, speed and agility, mobility, and then you have the mental piece of it and it’s how far, mentally, you’re able to push your body to a point of break, where it’s safe and you’re not inducing injury to the person.

But with those two parts, they kind of go hand-in-hand because everyone has that level that they think their body can go to, and it’s about getting that mental point where you can push past that physical point that you thought you were only able to get to. That’s what’s really going to take you to the next level and allow you to push your body to levels that you didn’t even know. So being able to push through and build that mental toughness is just as important as building the physical piece of it too.

How does the mental aspect affect the physical aspect?

Chris Tuttle: Yeah, I kind of touched on it a little bit in question one. Like I said before, everyone has that point, that breaking point that they think their body physically cannot get to, or push through. Now, that’s also a mental barrier. If you’re pushing through rep 8, you’re, “Oh, I can’t get 9 and 10.” That’s that mental barrier where physically, you probably can. So it’s our job to find that mental point and try to get you to push past that a little bit, maybe because those few extra reps are really what’s going to push your body to the next level.

Once we find that breaking point, or that push-through point of mental training, that’s really going to allow you to grow in the gym and physically. Mental toughness, it’s used outside training as well. As coaches, if we can build your mental strength in training, that’s just going to correlate to everything you do outside the gym and allow you to overcome some adversities because your mental toughness has been grown through training. Like I said, it’s an important point for us to really try to focus on that, building that mental toughness along with building the physical body as well.

What are the characteristics of an athlete who trains properly?

Chris Tuttle: There’s a few to touch on. Commitment is one. There’s a lot of kids or youth athletes that come in and their friends are out hanging out and they don’t want to wake up to come train at 6:30. To get someone to come in and wake up and train every morning at 6:30, that’s commitment and that’s dedication. That’s them making the right choices to lead them down the right path. Punctuality, being on time, picking up your weights, again, that’s kind of life lessons that are being taught in the gym, and these things all lead towards an athlete who trains properly.

Usually, the athlete that trains the best is the one that pays attention to all the small details. The overall knowledge of the health and wellness; once you have a good idea and understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish and what needs to be done in the gym, those are people that are going to be training properly because they understand what it takes, rather than just kind of going through the motions.

Can you share a success story of an athlete who has grown to an improved potential?

Chris Tuttle: Yeah. I mean, there’s obviously many that I’ve seen, going into year six for me in the coaching field, all six at the collegiate level. The easiest one for me to reference would actually be myself. I went to college as a 260-pound overweight baseball player. Really didn’t have the work ethic, didn’t have the determination, and it kind of showed in my academics and everything going forward with that.

So when I found my love for strength conditioning and found my love for the gym, it helped change the direction my entire life was going. The dedication and the hard work that you get from training, it goes into the classroom. It goes into your family life. It goes into all your relationships. Once you can get that accountability, commitment, dedication that you gain from the training, it really kind of pushes you forward down the road for success. If you asked me six, more like eight or nine years ago when I was a freshman in college, if I thought I would be helping young athletes grow in and out of the gym and using strength conditioning for it, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.

But it’s kind of one of those things that, once you start it and fall in love with it and you fall in love with the process of becoming great and helping these young athletes and using it as a tool to help them be successful in life after athletics, that’s something that we really strive for at Fast Twitch. I think that’s a huge piece of the strength conditioning. It really helped my life out, and I really just want to instill that on all the athletes that I can get the chance to work with.

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